Today, however--I'm thinking of this as my "first day back to work"--I have a visit to the CPA on my schedule, to get our taxes filed. I am usually prepared for this well in advance, but the job has been delayed this year by other commitments and the April 15 deadline looms. For me--perhaps because I grew up in a country where taxes took a much bigger bite out of income--it's not so much paying the taxes that's the annoyance, it's the work involved in preparing to pay them. It has always puzzled me that people in my country of adoption make such a fuss about paying their fair share and at the same time take all the benefits of government for granted. Would we all be happier, as libertarians seem to suggest, without the services that government alone can provide? Things like, you know, clean streets and trash disposal, highways and functioning transportation systems, education, police and fire departments, social security and now, finally, the beginnings of a health care system?
This all amounts, I suppose, to--gasp!--socialism, though we may not speak the word. The irony is that in America, we have come to expect the services of a socialist state without having to pay for them. Speaking for myself, I'm just surprised that I don't have to pay more. I would, indeed, be perfectly willing to do so, especially here in California, if it would only help improve our decaying education system. More education, it seems to me, would result in more capacity for critical thought, analysis, and understanding of the problems that we face. For now, we have nothing but denial.
Them's my thoughts on the matter. Even so, it is certainly a nuisance to have to put together all the financial records for the past twelve months and get them organized into some kind of meaningful order to present to the CPA. I am told that it's easier, these days, with such online aids as TurboTax, to do the work oneself; but I confess that I have never done it, and would not know where to start. I am meticulous in adding up the income--such as it is, and has been, in my days as a free-lancer!--and the work-related expenses; and because I have been lazy about it in the course of the year, I am confronted with a whole year's worth of stubs, credit card statements, and check book registers. I always promise myself that, next year, I'll do this right, and keep the records as the months go by, but I have never once kept that promise to myself, and end up in this familiar, unwelcome predicament. Next year, perhaps... Though it has already started badly.
I hope that my meeting later today will put the matter to rest, and that the resultant bill will not be too burdensome. After which... back to "Persist"!